Execs Stay Connected, Tethered to Office

The line between work and play is less apparent than in years past for many executives, according to the findings of a recently released ExecuNet survey. The business and recruiting network polled 155 executives on the pressures of being connected.

Accessibility after hours is a part of life for a majority of high-level executives; 61 percent say their company expects them to be accessible outside of working hours. Twenty-nine percent say it’s “not mandated, but implied,” and 10 percent say it’s not an issue to be available outside of the normal weekday.

The extended workday isn’t entirely new for executives. “I don’t think they’re working that many more hours. They’re doing it at different places,” said ExecuNet founder and CEO Dave Opton. “You’ve got a work ethic and a culture that have always promoted a shining example; these so-called type-A personalities.”

But technology allows for more flexibility in where work is done. Sixty-seven percent of employees at the executive level have worked remotely, with an average 11.4 hours a week spent performing business-related tasks outside the office.

Mobile Internet devices like BlackBerrys and Treos are used by 78 percent of the group to stay connected to the office. Portable devices like this improve the work and life balance for 56 percent, while the remaining 44 percent have yet to improve their ability to balance work and home.

“The same technology that enables executives to be highly productive while on the road can also keep them tethered to the office around the clock,” said Opton.

Even during extended time off, executives remain connected. Fifty-six percent say they are very likely to check e-mail on vacation; 36 percent are somewhat likely; and 8 percent typically don’t check e-mail or other messages while taking time off.

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